By Kaitlin Free (@kaitlinefree on Twitter)
Jockey : Paco Lopez
Trainer : Jason Servis
Firenze Fire comes into the Kentucky Derby with 39 points and is #19 on the leaderboard. Orginally a bubble horse, he secured his Derby spot with the defection of Sunland Derby winner Runaway Ghost. Firenze Fire picked up Derby points in the Champagne Stakes, Jerome Stakes, Withers Stakes, Gotham Stakes, and the Wood Memorial. With his win in the 2017 Champagne Stakes he became his owner, Ron Lombardi’s Mr. Amore Stables, first Grade 1 winner.
In his three stakes victories, Firenze Fire has defeated several Derby contenders in Free Drop Billy, Good Magic, and Enticed. Firenze Fire’s pedigree would be considered modest by many standards. By Poseidon’s Warrior out of a Langfuhr mare, he is his dam’s first foal. Poseidon’s Warrior is a Grade 1 winning sprinter as well as several other listed stakes. His dam, My Every Wish, was a non winner out of 2 starts. What his pedigree lacks in class it absolutely makes up with speed. When analyzed on TrueNicks, Firenze Fire’s pedigree rates an A++. This cross has also produced other stakes winners and proven runners.
Other horses bred on this cross have consistently won at sprint distances and a mile. When all is compared, it seems that Firenze Fire is best suited for a mile or shorter. Firenze Fire’s trip and placing in the Kentucky Derby could very well depend on his post position draw. Despite doubts about him staying the distance, a post where he could easily slide into mid-pack or right off the early leaders would best enhance his chances of an on the board finish.
The large field could also be concerning with the potential worry of Firenze Fire being shuffled back and vastly hurting his chances of finishing close. This horse can be compared quite well to last year’s contender Practical Joke and shares a great deal of similarities.
A horse that qualifies for the Kentucky Derby is a special achievement for any connections and if all possible they will send them there without question. All factors considered, Firenze Fire would have far better win potential in a race such as the Pat Day Mile on the same day.
Chances of finishing in Kentucky Derby superfecta on a scale of 1-10: 2/10
photo by Holly M. Smith (@kyholmarie on Twitter)